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Over the past week or so I’ve had an unusual number of opportunities to spend time with friends. In amazing ways each conversation left me with specific words that lingered long after we parted.

Very few of these lasting words were directed at my life specifically, but somehow they related despite my friends having no idea there was a personal connection.

How does that happen? How does someone speak into another’s life when she’s clueless about what’s going on? How do words make that kind of difference?

I’ve come to the conclusion that words last when there’s truth and wisdom behind them. When God is present with us, there’s a dimension to our words that cut right to the mind and heart. God knows what we face, where we are, and what encouragement and/or challenge we need. God can use his people’s words to speak to us in some way, according to the needs of the moment. 

Some of these conversations were encouraging. Others challenged me spiritually. One discussion strongly confirmed my thinking about an issue in our churches.

These friends are very different, and yet there is something the same about them: their minds are steeped in the Word of God. They are women who think deeply and desire to live out their relationships with God in real and tangible ways. Because their thoughts are rooted in God’s wisdom and truth, it just naturally oozes out of them. 

I saw God’s love behind the conversations as he used his people to encourage me at a time when I desperately needed it. 

There’s no shortcut to the ability to share lasting words with others. It takes years of growing in Christ. Such wisdom requires hours and hours of time in God’s Word and the willingness to live it out by the power of God.

Influencing others requires no less effort for us. 

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